The bungalow I’m staying in is just outside of Khao Sok, hidden away in the shadow of a strikingly white and silver cliff. Hence, Silver Cliff Resort. The owner Karen, who is from Scotland originally, is a wonderful human and makes the stay feel like home, except we are in the jungle, and there’s monkeys.
Karen took me to secret swimming hole on my second day in Khao Sok which is about a five-minute walk from the bungalows along the cliff. We traipsed through the creek a couple of times, dodged giant spider webs and tripped over vines on our way. Karen had only discovered the hole a couple of days prior, and had been waiting for a buddy-buddy to swim with her (safety first!). I promised that if she fell into a sink hole or was eaten by the Thai version of the Loch Ness Monster I’d happily take over the running of the resort until we found her.
The swimming hole was magical, about three metres wide and too deep for me to touch the bottom, which may mean it leads to an underwater cave or I was just too scared to put my feet down. Above us, monkeys were playing in the trees. Two of her four dogs joined us and were keen to show the monkeys who rules this jungle. However, this daring mission required getting in the deep water which they were too afraid to do. Who’s the sook now?
I’m staying in my own bungalow beside a slow moving, fresh water creek and have a balcony that overlooks the cliff as it changes from pink to white to silver to grey throughout the day. The bungalow is open between the wall and ceiling, meaning I need to have a mosquito net over the bed, and am going through my repellent like its last drinks at a dirty London pub.
Mosquito nets are a mixed bag. This trip is the first time I’ve needed to use them and it’s a love/hate relationship.
On the one hand, I have delicious blood, apparently, so it’s saving me from millions of bites and all the joys that come with them.
On the other hand, when I try to get in or out of bed I either look like a mutated, under-formed butterfly trying to emerge from a chrysalis, or like Beyoncé at the Grammy’s with a crown, amazing hair and unparralled grace as it gets draped around me, Queen like.
That’s how I see it in my own mind…lucky it’s not a shared bungalow.
Khao Sok National Park is part of the largest protected area in South Thailand spanning 4400square kilometres, and is one of Southeast Asia’s most important wildlife habitats. Each morning sees a gentle mist rest on the mountains and cliffs as the day slowly wakes to the warm humid light of the day. Gibbons, monkeys, frogs and birdlife echo through the valley singing the song of a healthy ecosystem, and a safe space for endangered flora and fauna.
Each afternoon and evening brought a short-lived but cooling thunderstorm that drenched the earth and replenished the rivers quickly but effectively. It also meant I was able to relive my awesome permed hair from the early 2000’s without the need for a hairdresser.
One morning I borrowed a bike from Karen to get into town and went trekking in the national park. It’s 300tbh each time you enter the park so I was determined to see it all in one day, I need to keep an eye on the old budget with this life as a digital nomad.
I walked for about three hours through the jungle, past waterfalls, large deep swimming holes and hundreds of bright, beautiful butterflies, more than I have ever seen in my life in one morning.
I stopped to watch a family of monkeys, with the baby learning to leap from tree to tree, and the mother just watching on until she had had enough, picked it up, flung it on her back and off they went. No fuss, no tantrum, you’re done on the monkey bars kiddo.
On my way back along the track towards the entrance I saw a very good looking man walking towards me.
I was dripping in sweat from head to toe and had mud all up my legs. He’d just started his walk so was looking clean, dry and like he climbs to Everest base camp and back before breakfast most days.
I was red faced and panting from climbing up a “slippery slope” (which seems like a metaphor just waiting to be fleshed out, but I’ll let that one slide).
I also had the always sexy, and not talked about enough, under boob sweat, which was showing through my t-shirt.
It’s a rare sighting the old under boob sweat, but wow is it effective in highlighting just how hot it is. You may have seen it in previous episodes such as ‘Moving House’, ‘Mixing Cement in 42°c’ and ‘Climbing Mountains in Vietnam’.
Obviously, said good looking man saw me as the talented mosquito net dancing Queen Bey that I am and we are now happily living in our bungalow in the jungle with monkeys and geckos for children. Obviously.
Nugget of Wisdom
Don’t have body wash that attracts massive bees to your outdoor jungle bungalow shower, a nudie run is not acceptable in most resorts.